Friday, March 23, 2012

A Stop in Die Eifel: Monschau

Last Sunday it was bitterly cold, rainy, grey, and an all around sort of miserable. So guess what that meant? ALL DAY TRIP OUTSIDE. I am such a smart cookie. 

It was the last day of my vacation before real school started, and so I decided I would take Jessica on a short trip to the village of Monschau, based on several recommendations that it was a quaint little place. Monschau is located in the (sort of) National Park called die Eifel. Apparently, in the summer, it's quite the happenin' place for hiking and other outdoorsy activities. Besides, on Sundays in Aachen, everything is always closed, so we might as well go somewhere. We met my Polish friend Kamila at the bus station, and the three of us headed out.

It was about an hour trip by bus to Monschau, and I'm sure the countryside flashing past the window would've been beautiful had I not instantly fallen asleep. I don't know what it is about public transportation, but it works better than Lunesta. The grey weather may or may not have contributed to it as well...

When we got to Monschau, our first thoughts were sort of along the lines of, "What the (insert choice word here)?"  It was a tiny, tiny place. And because it was nestled in a valley, and we were perched at the top corner, we couldn't see hardly any of it. But, hey, we had gotten all the way there, so we had to go check it out. Walking a little ways, we heard water rushing, and it turned out there was a river running through the middle of the town. Walking a little farther down the path, the town opened up before us, and we realized we were possibly in the cutest place on Earth. Before exploring, we decided to take a  hiking trail up to the top to look out over the village. There was an old ruin, but we couldn't understand the German plaque.


 The woods were really pretty, and from the ruin, we could look out over the village and see that we had made no mistake in coming to Monschau. 

There was another lookout point on the other side of the city, and so we eventually made our way through the town, and hiked up to it as well. 

IT HAS A WATER MILL... can this place get any CUTER???!?!?!?!?!?

I didn't take the picture crookedly, those steps were really like that! :)
Can you see the little chapel in top? ^

It's a wee-door!! 

Now that I've either completely blown you away or put you to sleep with the nature and cute little village, here are all the photos of the CASTLE that was also in Monschau... Oh, "..castle?" you say?? YES THERE WAS A CASTLE. You could basically climb in, around, on, and all through the castle too (including several sketchy staircases). It was really, really awesome. I can't wait until the weather warms up for good, and the flowers start blooming. But as Kamila said (and our grey skies proved), you don't need beautiful weather to enjoy this beautiful place.

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